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I know of FireShot, a firefox extension, for saving up whole pages of images. And I love it. Great idea, and a very good implementation.

But unfortunatelly, often on this kind of sites, you have links which get lost that way. So I'm wondering, is there a way to save in the same manner whole blog posts, wiki posts, StackOverflow posts :), as PDF files, so the links get saved as well ?

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i think this is going to be some tough nut to crack :) +1 –  Molly7244 Sep 2 '09 at 23:46
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@Molly - well, this isn't averageuser.com, is it ? :-) –  ldigas Sep 3 '09 at 0:11
    
<a href="addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…; extension is windows-only. However, there is <a href="addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…; that works on other systems too. –  Denilson Sá Sep 11 '09 at 19:06
    
(dang, no links on comments...) FireShot extension is windows-only. However, there is Screengrab extension that works on other systems too. –  Denilson Sá Sep 11 '09 at 19:09
    
@Denilson Sa - Does it save links as well ? –  ldigas Sep 11 '09 at 22:07

14 Answers 14

If the objective is to preserve all content and links, while affecting the formatting as little as possible... I recommend Evernote.

I know it's not a PDF solution... but after 2 years of archiving web pages in PDFs and images and getting frustrated with it, I decided to convert my personal web capture tool to Evernote.

Give it a shot, you might like it.

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HTML-to-PDF is a free Windows tool for batch converting webpages to PDF document. It supports clickable links, pages containing JavaScript, live forms, and font embedding.

See: http://sourceforge.net/projects/html-to-pdf/

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I know you are probably looking for a smart all in one solution, in which case someone else may have a better answer.

I personally find using Bullzip PDF Printer works pretty well. It basically has the ability to act as a printer and anything that would go to paper, go to it instead.

A lot of pages have got alternate CSS for printing and come up quite nice. For the others, I take a screenshot, use paint and print (not elegant, but it works!)

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But still won't preserve the links. –  Andrew Moore Sep 2 '09 at 23:28
    
... "what he said" :) –  ldigas Sep 2 '09 at 23:31
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That will teach me for skim reading :( sorry... Official Acrobat has the ability to convert web pages, it preserves the links but the actual rendered pdf is not that great. –  William Hilsum Sep 2 '09 at 23:46

i thought of PDF printing myself but this doesn't quite work out, the links are lost.

in this case i copy/paste the entire website into a word processor and save the document, which works well for the links but not for the original page layout.

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yeah. what i usually do is save the page as image, then extract the links from the text which interest me, but the problem with this approach is that 1. it is a lot of work, and i usually don't like doing it. 2. i always miss a link or two, and discover that too late. –  ldigas Sep 3 '09 at 1:11

Have you tried the LOOP add-on? It's supposed to convert URLs (and documents) to PDF.

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same problem, links not preserved. it's basically an online PDF printer and publisher. –  Molly7244 Sep 3 '09 at 1:03

To answer your question tangential. While PDF can handle links saving the page as html is closer to the original and less degradation. Most browsers will include a base tag which is good for citing sources (and necessarily if they used incomplete urls.)

<base href="..." />

Being I've already strayed from PDF... If using the browser Opera one can view the source, strip away the debris prefix and suffixing the desired content. And apply the changes locally to preview before saving. Without the debris I get fewer false positives when searching. (Firefox should have something in there toolkit similar.)

They say what goes on the internet is there forever...Try visiting a site from a decade ago...

Example: (disclaimer: second monitor is taller and second window is snapped to half screen) alt text

Smaller Or a Larger

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That is true, but only for "normal" pages. For wikipedia for example, saving the page as html is useless, layout-wise. Same goes for a lot of blogs. You get the content, but in such a layout that you don't feel like reading it anymore :) As for the last comment, www.archive.org can be fun :) –  ldigas Sep 3 '09 at 0:11

have a look at zinepal. it is more suitable for rss subscriptions but can accept any content from the web.

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Website2pdf looks like it does this (it did for me for this page at least) - not free though but then that wasn't specified in the question :)

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There is a firefox extension called PDF Download which will save a page to PDF (or mail it to you).

  • It saved the links for this page when I tried it.
  • But, you need to remember that the page will be saved as a public fetch,
    Which the tool does on-line (not as you logged in).
  • There is a paid version of the PDF Nitro tool (from the same place)
    that will save it right from your desk and you should get those missing parts too.
    Have not tried that though.
  • Another glitch is,
    the free firefox addon (at least) does not handle PDF page boundaries properly,
    you can loose a line of text there...
  • The Nitro tool does have a 14-day free trial if you wish to try that
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You might want to take a look at wkhtmltopdf. Its an HTML to PDF converter based on the webkit HTML engine that underlays Safari and most other OS X applications that display HTML, as well as the Google Chrome browser among other applications. Its built to be a command-line based utility, and should be easy enough to tweak and recompile given the ability to build apps based on the Qt framework.

I don't recall what exactly it does with links in the page, but it does a decent job of converting the text including CSS formatting to pretty good looking PDF.

And its free...

Edit: Also, a full copy of Acrobat has had this ability since at least Acrobat 3 or 4 (i.e. a long time). However, you have to buy full Acrobat, because Reader doesn't have the feature. It supports two modes of conversion: automatic and ad-hoc. Automatic mode walks the provided URL and retrieves everything it can reach from there. Since that could easily involve retrieving the entire Web, it has a control on the number of hops it is allowed to get away from the original page. The ad-hoc mode lets you browse from page to page, and as you click links it retrieves the page, adds it to the growing PDF document, and rewrites the links to refer to the PDF file instead of the web.

Acrobat's PDF creation is generally the best of show, except for this case. It really doesn't handle enough of the CSS spec to get things to work out right. I've often had best results by setting the page layout to landscape, but even then, its clunky.

Edit 2: I removed Opera from the list of users of webkit and added a link to the webkit project page. Thanks to Dan Walker for the correction.

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FYI, Opera uses their own in-house rendering engine. –  Dan Walker Sep 3 '09 at 5:01
    
Corrected. Thanks. –  RBerteig Sep 4 '09 at 2:12

Try Green Print , which has the ability to remove adds and make the pdf print much clear.

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If the purpose of saving in PDF format is to have offline access and retaining the same format as you see on the web, then I suggest you try out the Scrapbook Extension of Firefox. It has the following features:

  • Save Web page
  • Save snippet of Web page
  • Save Web site (In-depth Capture)
  • Organize the collection in the same way as Bookmarks
  • Highlighter, Eraser and various page editing features
  • Full text search and quick filtering search
  • Text edit feature resembling Opera's Notes

Give it a try. It is miles above everything else.

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All major browsers to my knowledge will let you save a "Complete" page if you use the built-in save command. This saves an HTML file as well as a single folder that contains all images, etc.

Obviously this isn't a PDF solution, but it does preserve both links and layout.

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Except for a lot of blog items, wikipedia pages, ... and a whole other bunch of dynamically generated pages. –  ldigas Sep 12 '09 at 10:49
    
What is not working? I just tested this on Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. You have to use the "Complete" option when the Save As dialog pops up so that it saves images and stylesheets. –  Stephen Jennings Sep 12 '09 at 15:52
    
I tested using the Wikipedia entry for Google and it looked perfect when saved from each browser. Can you give an example website that you're trying to save where this didn't work? –  Stephen Jennings Sep 12 '09 at 15:55

The online web to pdf converter can do the trick http://www.web2pdfconvert.com

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